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Iraqi forces at brink of defeating Daesh in Tal Afar

August 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Civilians who fled the conflicted or Daesh blocked areas reached out to Iraqi army controlled Zencili neighborhood of Mosul and were transported from this area with armored vehicles as operation to liberate Iraq’s Mosul from Daesh continues on 12 June, 2017 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi forces on Thursday recaptured three more neighborhoods of northern Iraq’s Daesh-held Tal Afar district, according to Iraqi military sources.

In statements broadcast on Iraqi state television, Abdul-Amir Rashid Yarallah, head of the army’s Joint Operations Command, said Iraqi forces had retaken the western Al-Nour al-Oula neighborhood and the eastern Al-Khadraa and Al-Jazeera neighborhoods.

“More than 300 militants were killed in the fighting,” Joint Operations Command spokesman Yahia Rasoul declared at a joint press conference in Baghdad held with U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for a U.S.-led coalition fighting alongside Iraqi forces.

According to Rasoul, the total number of neighborhoods to have been retaken from Daesh since the campaign began five days ago now stands at 31.

Dillon, for his part, said that Daesh militants holed up in the town of Tal Afar were now “completely surrounded”, going on to assert that the terrorist group “stands on the verge of another major defeat”.

Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, launched fresh military operations on Sunday aimed at decisively wresting Tal Afar from Daesh.

A predominantly Turkmen district, Tal Afar was overrun by the terrorist group in mid-2014, along with vast territories in northern and western Iraq.

Units of the Iraqi army, federal police, counter-terrorism forces and the Hashd al-Shaabi (a Shia fighting force incorporated into the army last year) are all taking part in the wide-ranging campaign.

In advance of the operation, the Iraqi army had amassed some 400,000 troops in preparation for retaking the district.